Internship Reflection Spring 2009

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    Spring semester 2009 was by far the most productive internship experience I have had during the whole program. In addition to spending a full week at my internship site while they were in session, I felt I connected with the administrative team in a very positive way. I also managed to meet most of my goals. Until this semester, I viewed the internship requirement as a proverbial hoop that needed jumping through. Now, after gaining a consistent view of how the school operates, I see the value to my experience of the internship requirement. I now look at school leadership through a different lens. I see myself changing by gaining experiences I know I'll be able to use when I become a school leader.
    I was very fortunate this year that my home school's spring break was a different week than my intern site. I made arrangements to be in the school almost everyday that week. I witnessed a complete school day. Coincidentally, I walked into school with my mentor, and that day stayed on site until 9pm. I was exhausted, but felt better about my abilities and the value of the experience. During the week I got to see how several difficult situations were handled by my mentor, his vice-principals, and the superintendent. I participated in three classroom observations, and two post-conferences. I learned valuable lessons of how different teacher personalities can influence the observation cycle. I also learned how valuable a good working relationship is with the superintendent, as we ended up in numerous spontaneous meetings with him various reasons. The entire administrative team of the district welcomed me and I gained the confidence I think I've been lacking to make the experience meaningful.
    My goals for the semester were ambitious; notwithstanding I accomplished most of them. I needed to complete all assignments for spring semester in a timely fashion, spend as much time as possible at my internship site, and finish all summer semester requirements. With this reflection I will meet all the requirements of this semester. I have spent, as of this writing, about 66 hours of internship, more than any other semester. I am still struggling to complete the final requirements from my slow internship start, but have a continued goal to make sure I meet the summer requirements before school is out for the summer.     In addition to all the work I have completed at my internship site, I feel I am making progress with my personal growth from a teacher to an aspiring leader in my school. I have volunteered to help the administration in a number of areas; including working with data and scheduling for next year. My principal has also finally seen the value my internship requirements will bring to our school and the foundations it forms for future administrative duties. At my school I was given two opportunities; one, I will be evaluating the various data teams goals to determine if they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (or S.M.A.R.T.). The other opportunity I was given, is to serve on the scheduling committee of my school. As a member of the committee, I gained an additional day at my mentor site learning how they schedule in PowerSchool; the student management system my school will migrate to next school year.    In conclusion, this semester has helped me in many ways. I finally fit in with my mentor site. I practiced classroom observation skills. I determined some projects I can do this summer. I will be investigating cell phone policies of schools for recommendations to my internship site on updating their policy. I will also be looking at how the data system manages the student attendance policy and making recommendations to simplify the vice-principals' work load. One of the best moments this trimester was the opportunity I was given to participate in a spelling bee fundraiser for the educational foundation that supports my internship site. The school administrators formed a team, and were one short the night of the competition. I joined the team, and despite our poor spelling skills, we all had a wonderful time. I interacted with the community, helped raise needed funds for the foundation, and gained respect from the administrators of my internship site. It was a very productive spring semester.

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